Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Fear - What We Can Do
Is there really anything we can do about fear, especially since it's an innate part of us? The answer is yes.
The first thing is to know what fear is. Research and experience shows the more we understand something, the less stress we have. Originally, many native cultures believed if you could name something, you owned it. In other words, it didn't own/control you, which is a very valuable concept we can still use today.
Second, ask if the fear is yours, or someone else's. Fear can be both inherited (memory imprints from our ancestors) and learned. Does it serve a purpose? Is it really protecting (or limiting) you? Is/was a choice being made out of/from fear? Is there anything else you can learn or do, that'll make the fear easier to deal with?
Suggestions: practice some simple scenarios that include a safety valve/positive solution of some kind, like self defense classes, watching a tv program or researching what ever is causing the fear. (This way you can limit the exposure until your confidence/ability is where you'd like it to be.)
Third, start with your children. (If you don't have children/they're no longer home, start with your self.) Healthy input includes non judgmental age appropriate comments, conversations, and behavior about fear.
This can be anything from physically looking under the bed/in the closet while verbally reassuring there's no boogey man, to using nightlights, sayin what your fear(s) were, how you dealt with them, and what you learned along the way. Let your kids and others know it's okay to talk about fear, fearful things/situations, and what to do.
Fourth, use the physical basics to help your mind and body recognize and process fear. These are: good food, adequate rest, correct amounts of water, supplements, moderate exercise, and body/energy work. Also seek professional help, if needed.
A good diet aids the body, mind, and senses in maintaining balance and the ability to properly process any stimulus, whether supporter or stressor. Rest lets us reset our chemicals, glands, organs, and muscles. Hydration keeps the body lubricated, (so we don't tear tissue when moving too fast), and removes toxins like cortisol (the death hormone) that's released in huge amounts when we're scared/stressed.
Supplements like B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium enablethe body to send, receive, and process chemical/electrical information quickly, especially for fight or flight. Moderate exercise and body/energy work both relax us, neutralize/release toxins, and speed the body's recovery from fear based memories.
Common fear storage areas/zones are: temples, neck, shoulders, back, hands, knees, and feet. Other areas are the mind, chest/heart, and digestive tract. However, the majority of the time fear is felt/experienced/stored in our Psoas ("fight or flight" muscles)*. When our Psoas is affected by fear we experience "gut reaction" (tightening to protect our core), short/long term low back/kidney/adrenal pain, unstable core, strain in other muscles, and/or inability to move/raise our legs properly.
Seeking professional medical or holistic help is very beneficial as well. Counseling, and/or balancing the body/mind/emotional processes, can be a huge first step in dealing with fear. People who've done this report a renewed sense of well being and other improvements in their overall quality of life.
*The edges of both the left & right Psoas can be found by lying on your back, with knees bent, and feet flat on floor or massage table. Place your finger tips just inside the ASIS (front top curve of the pelvis).
Roll/push finger tips gently towards the vertical midline of the lower abdomen, while flexing your hips to curve your abdomen in about an inch or two. The Psoas will tighten slightly, & you can then feel these outer edges.
Caution: arteries & veins, as well as sensitive digestive organs, are in the lower abdomen/pelvis, so don't "dig", when palpating/feeling for the Psoas. (See Psoas blog for further information.)
Sources: www.wikipedia.org, www.nlm.nih.gov, www.symptomfind.com, www.answers.com, www.webmd.com, www.howstuffworks.com and www.mentalhealthsamhsa.gov
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